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‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Speak

Abdul Baha to Speak
Worcester Telegram 2nd edition
May 22, 1912
Worcester, MA

Great Religious Teacher Will Talk at Clark University Thursday.

Abdul Bába, or Abbas Effendi, as he is called by his millions of followers, the holy head of the Báb or Bahá’í religion, will speak at Clark university at 4 o’clock Thursday afternoon.

Professor George H. Blakeslee, head of the department of history, received word yesterday morning that his eminence would be able to address the students at that hour.

The Báb religion has had one of the most phenomenal developments of any of the new religions of modern times, and its rapid growth is comparable to that of none of the more modern faiths unless it be Mormonism.

The fact that in a few decades the followers of the original Báb have come to be numbered in millions and have missionaries in most of the civilized world, including this country, for there are missionaries in Chicago and a church there, has aroused the interest of theologists and students of religious sociology all over the world.

The Báb religion started in 1844 in Persia, in which country nearly 50 percent of the people are followers of that faith. A Persian, by the name of Báb, proclaimed himself the herald of a mighty one, who was to be a Persian, and would come in the future.

The Báb, so-called, was executed by religious fanatics in 1850. Soon after one of his followers announced himself as being the mighty one who the Báb had said would come and the revelation of God for the present day. He died in 1892, and the present Báb, Abbas Effendi, is now at the head of the church, and is supposed to be possessed with divine faculties. He has been imprisoned in Persia for 50 years, but was liberated during the young Turks’ revolution of 1908.

The Bábists would found a universal faith, laying great stress on the brotherhood of man. To become a member of their faith they do not demand that a person alienate himself from other religious bonds. Like the Mormons, they believe that the Báb religion is the most recent revelation of God.

Among the things which they would bring about are the abolition of all war, an international tribunal for the settlement of disputes between nations, and universal language. They are not explicit as to immortality and future life. Although they have been much persecuted in Persia, they have shown a remarkable fortitude, great devotion and heroism, and their missionaries have been successful everywhere.

Abdul Bába is now in this country visiting those who are followers of the faith, and stimulating the work of those who desire to propagate the new religion in this country. His person is supposed to be endowed with a peculiar sanctity and he is highly revered by those who profess the Báb. It is claimed that in this country alone the efforts of the missionaries have converted over 100,000 people.

The Báb is 68 years old. He will speak in his native costume.